Eating Better for the Holidays

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As the holiday season draws closer, one of the hardest ways to maintain your healthy lifestyle during this time of year is to eat right. Even if you have been doing great on your diet, the holidays can still lead to overindulgence and weight gain. One of the reasons for is this is that food seems to be extra plentiful during celebrations with plates and plates of delicious goodies. Plus, the majority of food served during the holidays is usually loaded with fat, calories, and sugar. If you are not careful, your health can suffer.

In order to stay healthier over the holidays, here are some tips for eating better:

  • Make Wise Choices – Instead of reaching for things like pie, stuffing, gravy, eggnog, bread pudding, and ham or beef, choose healthier options like turkey, chicken, fresh salads, and steamed vegetables. It’s OK to have some holiday treats, but it is important to choose your calories wisely. Keep track of your calories as much as possible so you know how much you are eating.
  • Bring Your Own Food – During many holiday celebrations, there is often not many healthy choices. By bringing a healthier dish of your own, you can give yourself and others that option. Plus, there are plenty of traditional recipes that can be modified in order to be healthier.
  • Control Your PortionsSmaller portions allow you to sample many different foods while keeping the amount of calories down. Also, it is best to chew your food slowly and take small bites to avoid overindulging. When you are done with your meal, it might be helpful to leave the room in order to keep from going back for more.
  • Avoid Excessive Alcohol Consumption – The holidays are notorious for alcohol but alcoholic drinks are high in calories and have hardly any nutritional value. Plus, it dehydrates your body. Practice moderation, if it is impossible for you to avoid alcohol then try and drink a glass of water in between drinks. But the safest bet is to stick to plain water and your body will thank you for it.
  • Stay Active – Moderation is critical when it comes to eating over the holidays but so is staying active. Keeping exercising regularly and get moving!

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The Top 6 Healthy Foods to Have Everyday

Many people believe that eating healthy foods is tied to weight loss or special conditions like pregnancy and illness. However, there are many foods that can and should be consumed daily for optimal health and wellness. They are nutrient-dense, pretty affordable, and can be easily incorporated into many recipes. The six of these healthy foods are listed below.

1. Apples

How many times have you heard the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”?  This fruit has been known to lower high blood pressure and reduce inflammation in the body. Apples also contain antioxidants and immune system-boosting vitamin C. The fiber found in apples is an excellent source for regularity of the digestive tract and the pectin in apples breaks down gall stones allowing them to be passed with minimal discomfort. One of the top varieties is the Red Delicious and is best when eaten fresh. To avoid ingesting the heavy pesticides, buy organic whenever possible.

2. Bananas

In addition to being an excellent source of potassium, bananas have a wide variety of health benefits that include: balancing blood pressure, improving heart health, soothing ulcers, improving waste elimination, protecting eyesight, building stronger bones and improving kidney health. Bananas tend filling and satisfying. As an ice cream substitute, peel, slice, and freeze 2 medium bananas. Remove from the freezer and either blend or run through a food processor until smooth.

3. Lemons

Widely known for its vitamin C content, lemons neutralize free radicals which can cause tissue inflammation and cancer. They are wonderful examples of healthy foods that can be consumed daily. Upon rising each morning, squeeze the juice of one lemon into 8-16 ounces of water and drink. In addition to boosting the immune system, the citric acid rids the intestinal tract of harmful parasites.

4. Carrots

Carrots are healthy foods that contain high amounts of vitamins A, C, and K and other minerals such as potassium, folate, and manganese. Health benefits from eating carrots include improved eyesight, reduced acne breakouts, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer prevention. (Hester, 2007). Carrot ginger soup is one great way to enjoy all of these benefits. Peel and slice 4 large carrots, add 1 tablespoon of fresh minced ginger,  ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and salt to taste. Combine all ingredients in a pot and cover with 6 cups of water. Boil until just tender. Blend until smooth and enjoy!

5. Spinach

Spinach contains vitamins A, C, and K as well as calcium, folate, potassium, phosphate, selenium, and iron. Spinach is high in antioxidants, has powerful cancer-fighting agents, has anti-inflammatory properties and is excellent for bone health. Eat it fresh in salads, lightly sauteed, or even juice it along with carrots, apples, lemon, and ginger to cleanse your system and boost your energy levels.

6. Quinoa

Quinoa is a protein-packed grain that contains fewer carbohydrates and more healthy fats than any other grains and meats. It is gluten-free and has high concentrations of iron, calcium, potassium, and fiber. Quinoa is high in antioxidants and heart-healthy. Use quinoa as a side dish or as a base for meatless dishes like bean burgers.

These six foods can be used in a variety of recipes and can also be enjoyed as side dishes or snacks. By consuming a variety of these nutrient-dense, healthy foods, the body will be able to heal itself and move quickly along the path to vibrant health.

If you are in New York City and interested in joining an all woman’s boot camp  please visit NYC ADVENTURE BOOT CAMP, mention that you found us through our blog for and extra 15% off a membership. Come work out like a GIRL!!!

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Healthy Snacks

It may seem hopeless to find healthy snacks that actually fill you up and are good for you. The truth however is that there are some excellent snack ideas that can help you to fulfill your nutritional quota and that actually taste good. The key with this aspect of eating as with anything else is to be prepared. Though you think it’s impossible you can come up with some great snacks that are healthy and delicious.

You should also remember that healthy snacks fit in with the right way to eat. You want to focus on eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. That means that healthy snacks are a key and very important component to that and why you should be focused on incorporating these into your day. If you take the time to plan and pack the right snacks then your diet and your waistline will thank you.

Combine Food Groups

Whenever possible try to combine food groups as this really works. There are great snack ideas that do just this and you can figure them into your day really well. Consider a few ideas that come together from two various food groups. Remember the food groups include low fat dairy products, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, good fats, and whole grains.

So keeping that in mind a few examples of good combination snacks include:

  • Whole grain bread with turkey slices
  • Low fat cottage cheese with pineapple
  • Whole wheat crackers with hummus
  • Apple with peanut butter
  • Trail mix
  • Carrots with Greek yogurt dip

So you see that healthy snacks can include a wide array of different foods and when you combine them you get great value. You get key nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. You get fiber to make you feel full longer, and in the end you get a lot of great value for one small meal as well.

Items for On the Go

You want to always be prepared and that means that you have the right foods to take with you anywhere. Chop up and prepare vegetables such as watermelon, apples, bananas, carrots, celery, and cucumber and then pack them in a cooler. Pack up some low fat yogurt, low fat cottage cheese, and string cheese in the cooler and you are always prepared.

Consider keeping a packet of oatmeal, some trail mix, some mixed nuts, or even some popcorn at your desk. Put some protein bars into your car or gym bag. Just think through what your daily routine looks like and then plan for it. That way you never have to be caught off guard and you always have what you need to eat the right way on the go. That’s what healthy snacks and smart eating are all about!

True Mini Meals Working For You

When you break down the more than likely huge meals that you eat now into smaller and more efficient mini meals then you can work really well in terms of planning. Consider packing a half of a turkey sandwich and some yogurt for your lunch. Save the orange and the almonds for a mid morning snack and then you are never hungry and you don’t overeat at once. The key is to eat the right way and to focus on eating smaller portions more frequently to get the most value out of your eating overall, and healthy snacks are a huge component of that.

How are you feeling about your fitness level? Do you have any goals that you want to reach this summer? Please contact me, Stacy Papakostas for a FREE consultation.

If you are in New York City and interested in joining an all woman’s boot camp or Fitness Boxing Classes please visit NYC ADVENTURE BOOT CAMP, mention that you found us through our blog for and extra 15% off a membership. Come work out like a GIRL!!!

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